Sean Doolittle Appreciation Day

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(FORWARD: Sean is going to hate that I wrote this. But he’ll never tell this story, so I’ll have to.)

Sean went to bed late last night. He watched three DVR’ed episodes of The Simpsons to take his mind off things.

He’d gotten a nasty tweet from some anonymous fan who said that he blamed Sean for “losing” the Wild Card game against the Kansas City Royals a few days prior.

That’s not really anything new to any athlete who has a Twitter account. After every mediocre-to-poor outing he pitches, he gets a series of tweets from armchair “pitching coaches” on Twitter.

Get a change-up bro! Why didn’t you throw it faster? Your hair is weird! Why’d you throw a slider on an 0-2 count, loser! I hate your beard! You should be sent down to the minor leagues! You should be sent back to little league! I hope you tear your ACL! My mom didn’t hug me enough when I was a kid! 

Whatever. Those are easy to ignore. I mean, after a bad outing, nobody gets angrier at Sean than Sean. If you think his performance disappointed you, imagine how disappointed Sean is. Angry tweets can’t tell him anything new. He wants to win more than anyone. He’s still one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. But he’s human.

Being a relief pitcher is a pretty thankless job. Just take the ball and for god’s sake don’t. let. anything. happen.

But there are plenty of seemingly thankless jobs out there in sports. Relief pitcher is just one of them. How about being a late-inning defensive substitution? Pay attention and don’t drop anything. Or try being a long snapper in football. You don’t even know their name until they screw up.

It’s the job he signed up for. And it’s the job he’s thankful to even have.

He was drafted as a power hitting first baseman for the Oakland Athletics in 2007. He was once considered a top hitting prospect.

But then the injuries came. Three seasons worth of them. After three years of this, he felt like maybe the end of his road in baseball was on a minor league training table.

He started looking up college courses again so he could go back to school and finish up his degree at the University of Virginia. Maybe he could get a regular job. He’d devoted his entire childhood and adolescence to baseball, so he never had a chance to have a normal job, but what choice did he have?

But then the Oakland Athletics came to him and asked him if he wanted to start throwing in case his right wrist never healed properly. It was something to help him pass the time and stay sane. If you go to enough doctors/trainers/healers, eventually you’ll start to see yourself as broken. They didn’t want that.

The wrist never did fully heal, but throwing went better than anybody expected.

The A’s sent a scout to watch him throw a few live batting practices, and it went well enough that by the end of that day, Sean was a pitcher.

Fast forward a few months (19 minor league innings pitched, to be exact) to early June 2012, and he made his major league debut. The first batter he faced was Nelson Cruz. He struck him out. Then he struck out the next two guys too; Yorvi Torrealba, and Mike Napoli.

Cue up three bells tolling. 

He’s had ups and downs as a pitcher since then. Part of it had to do with the fact that pitching was so new to him. He never really failed on a professional level as a pitcher, so he never learned how to recover from failure. He had to learn to do that on the job.

It’s best to suck when nobody’s watching. Sean didn’t have that luxury.

Early in the 2014 season, he was offered an extension contract with the A’s. He wasn’t the closer at the time, so of course there was a lot of talk about why on earth any team would offer any extension to a lefty set up man.

Many wanted to know who got the best end of this deal. Was Sean ripping the team off? Was the team ripping Sean off? Who wins in this deal? 

I’ll tell you who wins in this deal: the fans. The day he signed his contract (an unprecedented one for a reliever), he met up with his friend Dereck, a lifelong A’s fan who’d been stationed at a US Army base in Afghanistan.

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Sean had sent Dereck care packages and notes and fostered a real friendship with Dereck without ever having met him in person. Now he keeps Dereck’s hat in his locker. If you see him talking to the media after games you can spot the camouflage hat behind him. It’s a bit of a talisman for him, but more than that it’s a reminder that there are people out there whose vocational margin for error is so much thinner.

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And that is not lost on Sean, who grew up in a military family. Whose father won a bronze star for his service in the Air Force during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Whose not-too-distant cousin was General Jimmy Doolittle; the man who launched the successful Doolittle Raid in World War II off the shores of nearby Alameda.

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Who, as a child, lived at Castle Air Force Base, close enough to the Oakland Coliseum (which, incidentally, is just off Doolittle Drive in Oakland) that they had season tickets to A’s games.

Who every year buys a truck full of Christmas gifts for underprivileged military families on behalf of Operation Finally Home.

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The weekend after he signed the contract, he met with Marcos Garcia, brother of Diego Garcia. Diego was another lifelong A’s fan who was tragically killed by a drunk driver a few months prior. Sean had seen photos of Diego’s funeral; the pallbearers were wearing A’s jerseys. Diego was buried in a Yoenis Cespedes jersey.

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He saw that the Athletics meant so much to Diego, and that Diego meant even more to his family and to his community. He had to do something. Sean immediately spoke to the front office about setting up a date for Diego’s family to throw out the first pitch at a game.

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Marcos threw out the first pitch on April 19th before the game against the Astros. It was a perfect throw. Right over the plate and into the glove of Yoenis Cespedes himself.

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The team also wins in this deal. They get a discount on an All-Star closer locked up for the next five to seven years.

And we win. We have the security of knowing where we’ll live for the next few years; a luxury for any athlete. Much less a relief pitcher. Much less a lefty relief pitcher. Those guys are lucky to get more than one year with any team.

Sean gets to play for his home team. The team he grew up cheering for in the stands of the Oakland Coliseum. He gets to play for some of the guys he idolized on the A’s in the early 90s.

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So keep fast forwarding (I’ll stop asking you to fast forward soon, I promise) to last Tuesday. Sean gave up a run in the 9th inning of the AL Wild Card game. It was on a bloop single into right, pinch runner, sacrifice bunt, stolen base, sacrifice fly. A bunch of little things that made a huge difference. It tied the game and brought it into extra innings.

I was sitting in the stands in Kansas City in front of all of my fellow Oakland A’s wives and girlfriends. Did they hate him? Did they blame Sean? Did they blame me by extension? I could feel their eyes on the back of my neck. My stomach turned. The Kansas City fans (wonderful fans, by the way) were ecstatic. It was fucking pandemonium.

It’s hard to watch Sean struggle in a game. It’s rare enough that I don’t worry too much about it. But it’s even harder seeing it happen on the road in such an important game. All the fans around you are screaming and laughing and cheering. Sean is a few hundred feet away. I can see his body language. He’s mad. Or he’s frustrated. But later he’ll be furious at himself. He may never forgive himself. I know that’s coming. I can see how much anguish was packed into his body at that very moment.

And while I know the happy fans around me aren’t cheering for Sean’s pain, per se, they might as well be.

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I wanted to throw up.

After the game, I gathered with the rest of the A’s wives and girlfriends in the tunnel outside the locker rooms under Kauffman Stadium. For some reason, the Royals security staff had put us in the same hallway in which the Royals players and their families were celebrating. We were told to wait there until our guys came out so we could get back on our respective one-way flights home.

We were steps away from a celebration we wanted so badly to be a part of.

Some of the wives were on the brink of tears. I felt for Adam Dunn’s wife. This was the first playoff game she’d ever been to as the wife of a player. Adam had played 2,001 games without ever making it to the post season. His 2,002nd game was the AL Wild Card game. And after the game ended, Adam retired.

I felt for some of the other wives who were getting hit with wayward sprays of champagne from the Royals team celebration happening ten feet away from us. Our guys would have to come out to this hallway past the celebration to find us reeking of champagne. Almost as a living, stinking reminder that we came so close to winning that game that we even smelled like we’d won it.

We were told gruffly to move to the side so that media cameras could witness the Royals celebrate their berth in the ALDS for the first time since 1985. Longer than most of us have been alive.

We sat on the floor of the hallway behind some cordons. Babies and small children up well past their bedtimes toddled past us. Some in diapers and nothing else. It was hot down there, and nobody wanted to fly home with a small child who smelled like a tiny alcoholic. So they took the champagne-sprayed clothing off the babies and toddlers and continued to wait.

Eventually the Royals took their celebration back into the clubhouse and we were left in a mostly silent hallway. The only sounds were muffled tears of some of the other A’s WAGs, the unmuffled crying of the hot, tired children, and the one-sided phone conversations many of us were having with various airlines trying to change our flights from Kansas City to Anaheim to Kansas City to our offseason homes.

That’s a phone call I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

After about an hour of this, Sean came out of the clubhouse with the look on his face I’d been expecting.

The greatest quality about Sean is that he’s accountable. Hell, he’s won awards from the A’s beat writers for being such a great interview; one of the good guys. 

Growing up in a strict military family, he learned to cop to his mistakes and to learn from them.

But he’s too accountable. If it were up to him, he’d shoulder all the blame. He does, and he did.

Twitter probably broke from all the nasty tweets people sent him that night. I got several too. People telling me I was dating a loser. Wishing death upon him.

I shut my phone off after I changed my flight. I asked Sean to do the same. Not tonight.

For the last week, we’ve watched the playoffs unfold. They’ve been fun to watch. Like, REALLY fun. But I know that Sean still blamed himself.

Last night we watched the Royals clinch a berth in the ALCS. It was amazing. They have an incredible team, and I hope they win it all.

I finally saw Sean smile after nearly a week. Seeing him enjoying watching another team win made me think he was finally better. He’d gotten past it. We could officially begin the offseason.

Then he got a tweet. Just one tweet. Someone said, in so many words, that he hoped Sean was being eaten up inside about how he lost the game for the A’s.

This was different than all the other nasty tweets he’d gotten before. I don’t know why, but it was. Probably because he actually was being eaten up inside. It was like someone had suddenly pulled a shower curtain back on his soul. And it was cold.

He gave me a look that seemed to ask, “is this what people think? Do the fans all hate me now? Did I let them down? Did I lose it for them?”

Of course he didn’t, but try telling that to him after his brain had already convinced him that he had. All he needed was one moron on Twitter to validate his thinking.

He got very quiet. His face looked more pained than it did when he first came out of the Kansas City locker room a few nights before.

I’m a very protective person, so a big part of me wanted to hurl someone into a goddamned well and leave them there forever. How dare they tell Sean what he’s already convinced himself?

He went to bed upset. That quiet kind of upset, which is the worst kind of upset.

I woke up early this morning to work. Let Sean sleep.

I suddenly got dozens of notifications on my phone. Some A’s fans had seen the ugly tweet from an anonymous “fan” to Sean and decided they didn’t agree with it.

Together they all tweeted wonderful messages of encouragement for him. They even got #SeanDoolittleAppreciationDay trending. What a seemingly small silly thing that meant so much.

Some shared funny pictures of Sean, many thanked him, and many more made it abundantly clear that the anonymous moron didn’t speak for their fan base.

The best part was seeing how many people realized that he does care. How many people get the opportunity to play for their favorite childhood team? Of course he wants them to win. And of course he hates it when they lose. That kid cheering on Rickey Henderson in the stands? He has a direct hand in helping his favorite team win. He is part of their fan base.

And what a wonderful fan base it is.

This morning felt like a cross between that last scene in A Christmas Carol and that last scene in It’s a Wonderful Life.

I was nearly speechless. I ran into the bedroom and shook Sean awake.

Sean, wake up! Something wonderful has happened!

– Did the Angels and Tigers get swept?

Well, yes… but that’s not what I meant… look, you’re trending on Twitter!

Sean sat up with a start and grabbed his phone to see what I meant. A look of happy disbelief washed over his face. They didn’t all hate him. They didn’t all blame him. Nobody was going to hunt him down and hurt him. Nobody wished he felt the anguish he’d already felt.

In fact, they… they love him.

Sean leaned out of our ninth floor window and yelled down to the San Francisco street below.

– You there boy, what day is this?

A group of hoodie-wearing tech bros on their way to work looked up. They wondered which one of them Sean was yelling to.

“Why it’s Sean Doolittle Appreciation Day, sir,” one tech bro yelled skyward, “and while I’ve got your attention, can you contribute to my startup’s Kicksta–

Sean slammed the window shut and smiled to himself. He hadn’t dreamt it.

– Eireann, go run to the store and buy the biggest roast goose you can find!

Are you sure you want goose? It’s so fatty. Besides, I don’t eat meat and I have no idea how to cook goose. I don’t think it’ll fit in our oven. Also I think I’ll have to go to Chinatown to find goose meat, and that’s a schlep. Are you really set on goose?

– Ugh okay fine, just order a pizza. No weird veggies on it. This is going to be the best Sean Doolittle Appreciation Day ever!

Sean, this is the first Sean Doolittle Apprecia–

Shutup, Eireann, let me have this.

You’re right. Sorry. God bless us, everyone.

TinyTimSE TinyTim

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38 thoughts on “Sean Doolittle Appreciation Day

  1. You can thank Jennifer Trumpp for starting it and all the writers at Swingin’ A’s for getting it off the ground. We thought it’d be fun to get it going but the way it took off was incredible.

    That random fan is an idiot (he spent wildcard night throwing anti-Semitic slurs at all of us A’s writers, even the ones who weren’t Jewish) and really doesn’t speak for the fanbase.

    I feel bad that you get these tweets and the “free” carwash and all of that crap. 99.9% of us love Doo and are thrilled to have you both with the organization for many years to come!

    The A’s didn’t lose the wildcard game, they won it two or three times! The Royals won it last and that’s the one that counted. No blame on any one player for that game.

    Great blog post, great outlook and a great girlfriend. I’m glad this little Twitter trend had a positive influence today.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lynette says:

    Thanks for the great story. I think people forget there’s a real person on the other side of your tweets. As a loyal A’s we love “Doo” and can’t wait for next season.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gabriela says:

    THIS is a reason me and my family are and will always be A’s fans. Early in the season,April, my 16 year old, die hard A’s fan, brother had critical brain surgery. The only thing that kept him from going insane were the A’s. Sean is his absolutefavorite player. He (I swear) talked about him to the paramedic the ENTIRE way from UCSF Children’s to Kaiser in Oakland. Having the A’s and Sean and the entire team doing what they do was honestly the ONLY thing that kept him sane. Is by chance you see me and his PLEASE tell Sean thank you for me. Thank you for being my brothers passion and being one of the reasons that he fought so hard when he was going through what he went though. Sean made such a big impact on my brother life in the littlest way ,by just being Sean Doolittle and killing it on the mound. Much Love!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeff says:

    Awesome story. I love it. Tell Sean we can’t wait to see him next year. Those Royals were some wiley motherfuckers! It wasn’t anybodys fault but the Royals. They earned it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Toni Villasenor says:

    beautifully written! Glad you wrote this! I sit in section 129 and love Sean no matter if he has a good day or bad!!! No one is perfect but he is pretty close to it! You two are such a beautiful couple!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ted Bircks says:

    The best young baseball player I’ve ever seen. I was the FB coach of the Rancocas Legion team in South Jersey. Sean, it was a bloop, a bunt, a steal and a F9. Such is baseball. This too will pass. Nothin’ but the best to you in the future……I’ve got the Package and I’ll be routing ! !

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  7. That was a fantastic post. You’re a luck pair. And as a lifelong A’s fan, it’s easy for me to say that Sean Doolittle will likely be one of the more beloved players in A’s history by the end of that contract. People talk about “a player’s coach.” Doo is “a fan’s player.”

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Thanks for sharing this. It’s hard for people sometimes to get a grip and realize that the game is just a game. This game is supposed to be fun, not a matter of life-altering things. I am glad you were able to show him this and remind him that the game is good and people are good. The negative stuff will never overtake the good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jo Anne says:

    People think because Twitter is anonymous they can say whatever. And they do. Stupidly and relentlessly. If I had to deal with negative comments about stuff like this at my job – I’d probably quit!!

    Sean was nails this season! One of the BEST relief pitchers in baseball. His strikeout to walk rate was CRAZY!!! It’s the job of the other team to do what they can do to get hits…no way was the outcome of that game was his fault.

    In the world of twitter is is hard to know whether the person we are following reads all the tweets and is listening when fans tweet their love and support to them. Please please please – let him know true A’s fans support our players – no matter what happens. Let’s Go Oakland!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. East coast A’s fan here. My 2 year old daughter and I briefly met Sean on the field during the inter league series in Atlanta. It was father-daughter day at the park and we were among the handful of Athletics supporters taking part in the pre-game parade of families on the field. Sean took the time to take a picture with us even though all the other players had already retreated to the locker room and/or bullpen.

    Although my daughter was mostly asleep when we took the picture, she absolutely LOVES the picture and often asks to see it. Now, if any sport is on TV now, she asks if its baseball and if the guy with the beard is playing. It is a memory that we will cherish forever. Thank you Sean Doolittle!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ed says:

    Wonderful post. Thank you to Sean and Eireann. There are not a lot of us A’s fans, but we are loyal! Sean, as all ball players know, some days you are the bug and other days you are the windshield. Hold your head up high and thank you for a great season.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Justin Mallory says:

    What an awesome woman you have there Mr. Sean Doolittle. One anonymous fan does not represent anyone but themselves. What you have accomplished and done for the A’s is well deserving of the #seandoolittleappreciationday Have a great offseason and us A’s fans cannot wait for you to get back out there blowing fastballs by everyone who opposes you. Thank you for a great season!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. liljando says:

    I’m not gonna lie: I have tears in my eyes after reading this. One of my favorite A’s memorabilia I have is a 2012 postseason pennant with Sean’s autograph and it hangs above my 18mo. old son’s crib. Sean is lucky to have you Eirann and we A’s fans are sooo lucky to have Sean. Can’t wait until next spring! Doooooooooo!

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  14. liljando says:

    Geez I have tears in my eyes after reading this. My wife and I love Sean Doolittleand we are so glad he’ll be around for quite a while.
    One of our favorite items of A’s memorabilia is a 2012 postseason pennant signed by Sean. It hangs over my 18mo.old son’s crib.
    Sean is lucky to have you Eirann and we, as A’s fans, are sooo lucky to have Sean, one of the best relievers in all of MLB. Can’t wait for spring! Doooooo!!!!

    Like

  15. Sharon Kennedy says:

    Eiranne–my son (Alex, 19) has been a diehard A’s fan since he was 5–and I got my love of baseball and the A’s from him. We live in Walnut Creek although he is now at U of Oregon, just started his 2nd year of college. He sent me a link to your post as he thiught it was so well written. Yes it is, and it made me cry! I could tell watching that game on TV that Sean was upset with himself and I assumed he was a perfectionistic person who would judge himself too harshly. We are SO happy you wrote this–and I know it was cathartic for you too. 😄. We love Sean!!!! My son asked me to send a framed picture of Sean that we have here at home, for the wall if his college apt in Eugene–and he asked AFTER the wild card game loss, i.e., he still wanted Sean’s picture. Sean is a GREAT pitcher. And you both are clearly such wonderful people. Don’t ever let a couple of jerks get you down. All the best to both of you!

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  16. Thank you so much for writing this Eireann! I am bookmarking this and sending to everyone I know (I pretty much only know A’s fans, it’s a sad, fun and true reality when you pretty much live and breathe and love A’s baseball as you would probably understand)! I hope you let Sean read some of these comments but I echo everyone’s sentiment when I say that we all love Doo and if some people are douchebags then they are not true A’s fans!!! It doesn’t hurt that you are both hilarious and adorable together and that Doo is phenomenal at his job!! I called it – that they were going to make him the closer. (I wrote an article about it in April at my former job http://outsidepitchmlb.com/2014/04/06/five-changes-the-as-need-to-make-right-now/) just before they announced the contract extension which was a fabulous moment for A’s fans everywhere – there is no one you want more on your team than someone who grew up with the A’s, has a good personality, is good with the fans (Sean made quite an impression on my nephew!! Our season tickets are in 128 row 2 behind the bullpen and my nephew does this cheer – he’s five – “Doolittle do it, Doolittle do it” we are still getting him to work on his “doolittling” when he says it but he came up with the cheer on his own!) – and to get back to my original point, is good at his job! Doo has everything you’d want in a player and we love him for that and I know I was ecstatic to know that if we finally get to keep a player for longer than five minutes that it would be Doolittle! Happy #SeanDoolittleAppreciationDay! I’m sure it will be the first of MANY! (oh and if you wouldn’t mind – tell him to smile for me like one time, I have like a million pictures of the back of his head! Balfour used to do the same thing to me until I finally caught him at Spring Training – sorry I talk too much!) But I love the A’s and you guys are great! Never let the stupid naysayers bring you down! Let’s Go Oakland! xoxo Oakland A’s Socks Girl 🙂

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  17. pj g says:

    Eireann, you are amazing. Also, please keep writing. You are immensely talented, .

    Sean, I’ll never adequately express my admiration for you as an individual and athlete of the only baseball team I’ve ever loved. I grew up admiring the Mets, ’cause they weren’t the Yankees. But the geography was based on my parents’ childhood. I was a west coast kid with an affection for the things my parents knew. During the dispiriting 90s, baseball fell away. The glove and cards were saved in boxes by my thoughtful mother. The Beckett subscription lapsed. I stopped caring about the horrors of the DH. (Oh the rage). I was spared the debates about inter-league play. (Hate it).

    Much later, having moved to the bay area, I refound baseball. Specifically, A’s baseball. It was the Bad News Bears versus 29 variations of the Yankees. It was a concrete sandlot, with bubbling poo tar pools. The beer, yellow-ish. The hot dogs, kind of warm. The fans, loud. Some rotten, as we found with Jim.

    But. I STILL LOVE IT.

    Sean, I’ve seen you throw three perfect pitches too many times to remember each batter. I’ve felt the Coliseum vibrate with each of your strikeouts. (Yet Mount Davis still stands…ugh). I’ve seen you collect save after save after save after save. I don’t know how you face those hungry batters, more than ever swinging for the fences. I don’t know how you stomach knowing that every single pitch you throw is more fraught than any of those in earlier innings.

    But, Sean, I know that you are the guy who lets me breathe easier when the score is tight. You’re the guy who wills me to stand, not because of nerves, but because it’s easier to leap at that last pitch for that last out. Sean, we got as far as we did because of your pitching, not in spite of it.

    It didn’t happen this year but it was fun. Hug Eireann, take rally possum for a few walks, and know that next year we are going to beat those Yankees. All 29 of them.

    Like

  18. Eireann –
    As a die-hard A’s fan for the last 13 years, Sean has definitely been one of my favorite players. His story, seeming down and out, where most people would say his career is done and then finding a way to not only make the big leagues but dominate, is truly inspirational and embodies this team’s mentality so perfectly. That story inspires me to keep battling even when life is really getting you down.

    I was heartbroken after the loss, like most fans, but never once did I blame Sean. In fact I thought to myself, “If this is how I feel, just imagine how they (the players and their families) must feel.” You definitely confirmed my thinking on that and really gave me a unique insight. Thank you.

    There is a chance that Sean may still come across some idiotic drivel that stupid “fans” post about him but I really hope that he knows now that there are far more of us who love and appreciate him than those phonies who are attacking him. I’ve seen many young A’s fans imitate his stance: pretending to be on a pitcher’s mound, standing in the stretch with their gloves under their chins,

    Sean is so lucky to have someone like you. That you would go to the trouble of writing this is amazing and heartwarming.

    After what Sean has been through to get here, I have no doubt that he will be back next year stronger and better than ever. I look forward to seeing him pitch in 2015.

    Get ’em next year and go A’s!

    Uriel Sudikoff

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  19. jasoncfarmer says:

    Reading this brings me back to that Tuesday night in KC. I grew up an A’s fan but cover the Cardinals for my newspaper. With the Royals making the postseason this year, I convinced my paper to send me to cover them too (so I could watch my favorite team play). That said, I’ve been in many stadiums and clubhouses and did find it odd the way the families were forced to wait in an area that press was in. In an area that players are coming and going to the press conference room. It was weird seeing the families lined up against a wall behind a makeshift retractable rope like barrier. I’m sorry that happened to you all. I hope I did not get in your way when I was tryin to get throught following the game and/or when I was trying to return to the press box.

    By the way, I’m an 11 year military veteran (2000-2011). I was an aviation med/field med corpsman that deployed both with blue side (on aircraft carriers) and with the green side (in country in Iraq – 192 days, but whose counting).

    OohRah!

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  20. david johnsen says:

    i traveled from australia in june to watch baseball in oakland and san francisco .my first game at oakland was close and in the bottom of the ninth hells bells started to play and the whole crowd started to bang there heads to the music. i asked someone whats going on and he told me dooooooo is coming in to pitch to see the whole place going crazey made me think how much this guy was part of the team.oakland won 12 of 15 games that i watched that month with sean a big part of those wins. it takes 9 players and the bench to win games it also takes the same to lose games so sean its not your falt what happen in that playoff game.the team takes the lose just as it would the win .the memiories i bring back home with me is priceless and you sean doooooooooolittle will always be a part of them there are 30 teams in baseball only one can win it all so hang in there and as the saying goes theres always next year.DAVID JOHNSEN A:s fan .

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  21. Chris Cozby says:

    Awesome article! Me and my son’s are die hard A’s fans and we met Sean at spring training. He took the time to talk to us… autograph few things and even a couple pictures. 2014 just wasnt our year! In no way is that Sean’s fault. He rushed back from an injury to help his team and with out him he struggled even more! I watch EVERY OAKLAND GAME! And have been a fan since I was 8 years old. I’m now 34. My son is 9 and he’s been right there with me for every game. He went to bed that night after wild card loss and just stared at ceiling..I told him I’m sad too but as A’s fans we are with them thru the good and the bad. I have nothing but respect and love for DooDoo! He is what every team wants in a closer! I look forward to talking with him again this spring and too another great season in 2015. Baseball is a team sport and you can’t blame one single guy. I will say it made my off season better seeing the angels and tigers get swept.. Sean keep your head up, thank you for taking time for me and my kids. You have endured much in your major league career and you will get another chance and another game! This will just fire u up to come back even better next season….If that’s even possible..Lol. thank you Sean and Thank you Oakland A’s for many fun day’s and nights! I will forever be w the green and gold! #1fan, Chris and Chris Jr.

    Like

  22. BSL ONE says:

    Thank you for this, brought a huge smile to my face! And even cooler that he lived at Castle, right next to my hometown Merced!! Go SEAN GO!!!

    Like

  23. Pingback: Sean Doolittle Appreciation Day, in Tweets

  24. Mauricio C. Lopez Jr. says:

    So I was one of the few who gave that Billy douche manypieces of my mind on said night. Upon telling him to kick rocks I went to sleep and Woke up to all the support for Doo, I was extatic at how our fans showed their love for him. Of course I had to chime in, he along with Donaldson are my favorite players period. They work soooo hard and play even harder, as a lifelong fan can ask nothing more than that out of a player. You’re lucky to have each other and wish you all the best! Great article and thanks to the A’s I met my now girlfriend at the 2nd to last game in Seattle behind the bullpen when I was cheering on our boy. Yeah we lost this year but I feel like I won it all anyways:) Much love to both of you and thanks! See ya in Spring Training.

    Like

  25. Mark Biscoe says:

    I am a bit older than most of these folks – have been a diehard A’s fan since 1947 when I was 11. Although winning in ’72, ’73, ’74, and ’89 were great, nothing was as exciting as the last 3 years. Your letter in defense of Sean was so heartwarming. He is a TREMENDOUS man as well as pitcher, but he is so lucky to have you ! Wonderful post. Next year I’ll be coming into Fenway when the boys are there.

    Mark Biscoe – Brunswick, Maine

    Like

  26. I have no interest in the A’s at all but I think this was a wonderful, thoughtful piece about so many topics. I’m a fan of Another Team but I appreciate your perspective and am grateful that you shared what you did.

    It’s easy to say “just ignore them” (and I literally don’t have time for Twitter) but keep in mind that FANATIC sports fans are a rare and insidious breed, They don’t represent the true fan base,

    Best of luck and health to you and Sean, Eireann, and keep writing.

    Like

  27. Marsha Moody says:

    I read this with tears in my eyes. I’ve posted this to my Facebook page so others can feel your pain. I am related to an A’s player and I know how much it hurts for us to hear negative things about our guy. We love Sean. We love his heart, his talent, his beard, etc. He’s the real deal and he’s loved my many.

    Like

  28. What a lovely tribute to an excellent pitcher. Many baseball players do not have the kind of support and understanding that Sean obviously has. Thank you for writing this.

    Respectfully,
    A Royals Fan

    PS Tell him not to lose the beard. Ever.

    Like

  29. Pingback: Podcast Episode 2: Doolittle Appreciation Day - Swingin' A's - An Oakland Athletics Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More

  30. Susan Allen says:

    I am from Tabernacle NJ. Sean was the older brother that my children looked up to. A wonderful boy has grown into a wonderful man. Sending love from the Pinelands of NJ

    Like

  31. Elissa says:

    What a beautiful piece, Eirann! I am an ’85 Wahoo, and we have followed Sean since his UVA days, as he played with our neighbor, an outfielder there. Sean has been a true example to young kids. His service to others is a reflection of his character and reveals the true meaning of the “honor men” of UVA. Yes, one bad inning can piss of lots of “fans” but in the long-term, service to others and kindness will be remembered forever. Best wishes for great off-season!

    Like

  32. Tony says:

    Relax it’s baseball. Not that big a deal. People get over blown saves. Mariano Rivera blew a game 7 in the world series and he is a God in NY and the best ever. Also a call to change travel plans is also not a big deal. Get some perspective and be happy u have your health. Also Oakland as a franchise continues to choke every October. People are getting used to it.

    Like

  33. Pingback: ⦿ Sunday Links / D's Notebook

  34. Hey Sean
    I have been an A’s fan since I was 12. My birthday is tomorrow and I will be 50. I have season tickets behind home plate and some of the things I hear from other fans I can’t believe. Don’t let a couple of bad apples get you down. You go to work and try your best and have no regrets no one can take that away from you.
    The people that are talking smack are not real fans. The real fans got your back and keep up the good work my friend.

    Like

  35. I loved this commentary and I particularly loved that my son sent it to me- I believe that your words really spoke to him about a kind of integrity of relationship that can exist between professional athletes and their fans. He is one of those diehard fans who celebrates the wins and really suffers over losses (something I never quite understand being more the casual sort fan). You put things in such great perspective and I admire your fierce words for someone you love and I admire Sean for all the great work he does on and off the field.

    Like

  36. Bryan says:

    It had been my experience that ass clowns like your tweeter will attack people they KNOW it will bother! I’m neither a fan of baseball, the A’s, or Sean. This is the 1st time I was even aware that he existed. But the people of low character will attack people of high character to validate themselves somehow. From what I’ve read of your story and the following comments, it is clear that this is a man of high character that is loved by many! And most importantly is loved, respected and protected by the person in his life that means the most… YOU! Lucky 🍀 man! Cheers to you both!

    Like

  37. Pingback: Thursday Training, SMH & An Ikerview | Of Headbands and Heartbreak...

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